South Cumbria’s annual summer horticultural celebration, The Holker Garden Festival, is this year marking its 23rd show with the attendance of ethnobotanist and TV gardening personality James Wong. James will be the festivals special guest on Saturday 30th May 2015; taking part in Q & A sessions in the Holker Garden Theatre, signing copies of his new book ‘Grow for Flavour’ and offering expert advice, and top tips to amateur gardeners and visitors.
From incredible edibles to medicinal marvels, James sees plants as much more than greenery for your garden. Trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and with regular appearances on BBC Gardeners’ World, BBC Countryfile, The Chelsea Flower Show, and as a panellist on BBC Radio 4 - Gardeners’ Question Time; James is a unique blend of explorer, anthropologist, gardener, and ethnobotanical adventurer.
Hosted by the Cavendish family in the grounds of Holker Hall & Gardens in Cark-in-Cartmel, the Holker Garden Festival is a three day event taking place from Friday 29th May to Sunday 31st May 2015. The festival showcases the very best of gardening, countryside, food and crafts, with a vibrant mix of horticultural displays, fragrance filled marquees, striking show gardens, country crafts and artisan produce.
The 23rd show is a celebration of all things ‘grow your own’ and ‘allotment gardening’ with a series of special appearances in the Garden Theatre including BBC Allotment Challenge 2014 contestants Gary Murdock and Pete Taylor who will be giving visitors an insight in to life as allotment gardeners. The festival will also be welcoming Eric Robson, as he shares his experiences of life as the Chairman of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time.
Sample some of the finest artisan produce from Cumbria and beyond, plus the chance to indulge in some of the famous foodie hero’s from the neighbouring Cartmel Village. Highlights include Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cartmel Cheeses and Unsworth Brewery. Wander the festival with a pot of fresh strawberries and cream, sit back and relax with afternoon tea, or feast on hearty hog roasts; your taste buds will be spoilt for choice.
Bring out the mini scientists in your little ones with a visit to the Holker Tipi’s, where they can take part in fun and educational ‘sowing the seed for science’ activities. Good old fashioned family fun can be had down on the showground (don’t forget children under 16 go free!) with the return of the glorious, 50ft traditional Victorian Helter Skelter. Live, action packed arena shows including the daring, world famous Gerard Naprous & the Devil’s Horsemen Stunt Team and their Wild West show.
Whether you’re looking for gardening, rural life, artisan produce, country crafts or family fun this summer, you will be sure to find it at the Holker Garden Festival. For more information or to buy advance tickets visit the website at www.holkerfestival.co.uk or call 015395 58838. The festival takes place from Friday 29th May to Sunday 31st May 2015. Opening times are from 10.00am to 5.30pm. Entrance to the festival is £15.00 for adults and £13.50 for seniors/students; discounts for advance bookings are available online. Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult.
The Ilex Bar & BrasserieOpen for lunches - including a very special Sunday lunch -
This weekend’s damp weather didn’t affect the fiery fun at Holker with a full house for the chilli eating competitions hosted by Darth Naga. A packed Courtyard watched on as 10 competitors (on each day) took part in the lively competition. Saturday’s competition was the most entertaining yet with Darth commenting it was best one he had ever hosted - humorous contestants were encouraged by the lively crowd - with Jordan from Barrow taking centre stage. Joint winners took the trophy on Saturday and Ed Duffy was crowned Sunday’s winner after reaching around 250,000 scovilles.